Pics from my photography course

So last week Monday was the start of my photography course at Vega’s college of photography. The first lesson was pretty much a “get to know your camera” session. I learnt about how to setup all the different functions, change apertures, shutter speed, auto & manual focus, ISO settings, light metering and others.

We also have 2 photo assignments. The first was a light meter reading exercise taking photos under different conditions – shade, sun, dark background, light backgrounds etc. The 2nd assignment was a lot more fun – night time exposure photography. Choose 4 different settings, use an aperture of F8 and take 6 pics with different shutter speeds – 1 second, 2s, 4s, 8s, 15s and 30s. Here are a couple of the pics I took.

light trails on the N2

lights across False Bay

Strand beachfront apartments

Cross on the wall

The biggest thing I’ve realised is composition is the one of the most important aspects of photography. Just looking at an object from another angle changes a dull and boring image to something magnificent and thought provoking. I’m sure that you can see from the above images, this is something I’ll need to work on. :)

We have an entire module dedicated to composition, which I’m probably looking forward to the most!

My weekend away to Paternoster

I had a fantastic weekend away to Paternoster with my family. This post isn’t about the weekend away, but more about my new camera I bought, the Nikon D5000.

Morning mist

My wife bought me a professional photography course at Vega for my birthday and you need a DSLR camera in order to get the most out of the course, so after weeks of research on both Canon and Nikon cameras, I settled for the Nikon D5000.

Continue reading My weekend away to Paternoster

The new Ferarri 458 Italia

It’s no secret I am a massive Ferrari fan with a goal (not a dream) to own one of the Italian prancing horses in my lifetime. I drive past Viglietti in Cape Town as often as I can to marvel at the red, black and white Ferrari’s on their showroom floor.

With the Frankfurt Motor show happening in September, Ferrari are set to announce their next super-car, the Ferrari 458 Italia.

ferrari-458-italia-1

Some interesting facts about the car:

Powered by a new direct-injection 4.5-litre mid-mounted V8, 562 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque will be on tap.

Like last year’s California, all that massive power will be directed to the 458’s rear wheels via a double-clutch, seven-speed transmission.

A two-seater berlinetta, the 458 has received a lot of Formula One technology and input from Michael Schumacher

According to Ferrari, “The car’s soundtrack is also typical Ferrari, with an exciting, powerful growl emerging from the engine before it channels through to the exhaust’s three rear tailpipes.”

The Ferrari 458 also does 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds with a top-speed of 325km/h.

For me, a Ferrari has never been about the 0-100 time or the top-speed. It’s about the history, their involvement with Formula 1 and the iconic status of the brand that has drawn me to it since I was old enough to recognise an Audi from a BMW.

These pictures don’t do the car any justice as the real life pics will always look way sexier. Until September though, this is all we have to drool over. :)

ferrari-458-italia-2

ferrari-458-italia-3

[more from carblog.co.za]

The 2nd episode of our football blog is live!

After quite a successful pilot episode where we managed to muster around 250 views, we shot the 2nd episode where Mike and I talk about Manchester City once again, David Beckham and a must see football movie currently airing on DSTV. Along with our usual football banter, we are giving away a box of Kika-Sacks! So please watch the video below and let us know what you think!

For my RSS and Email subscribers, please click here to watch the video on Zoopy or click here to watch it on Youtube.

Webmail and Interface IT are a bunch of scammers

I think we all pretty much know that Webmail and the holding company Interface IT are genuine spammers much the same as Ananzi and Braby’s. I got this email from a reader that got scammed by Webmail to send out 100 000 emails that would generate a 30% – 40% response rate. This “direct mail” package costs her R30 000. Read the email below and please let me know what you think!

Hi,

I have a small company and was approached by Webmail’s Sales Director (Gregg van Notten) who sold me on a Direct Mail package. 100,000 of my target market (who have ‘signed’ up for such things – NOT!!) and I would have a 30-40% response rate. I stressed that I wouldn’t spam anybody and he assured me that there was no spamming. I was told to gear up for a massive response and ordered over R200k worth of product to gear up for this overwhelming campaign.

I couldn’t get the Sales Director to respond to my calls and finally go thoroughly hostile when one of the ‘Campaign Managers’ finally contacted me. I told them I wasn’t paying the remaining fee as their service was pathetic and their demographics amateur and irrelevant. They threatened to take me to court.

They then sent out the first 50,000 emails. Well 2203 opened the mails and I got a whopping 69 responses. This is when I went truly ballistic. I told them that if somebody “signs” up for emails they generally open them and that if 4.6% open them then it’s because they’re being spammed. I also targeted LSM 8+ and not be utterly ignorant, I’m fairly sure a lovely lady in a very (VERY!!!) rural town in the bundu of the Transkei cannot qualify. I then had a conversation with the Campaign Manager who was getting seriously aggravated with me and I told her to escalate my problem to somebody senior. She said she would and emailed this assurance to me. Well that was Tuesday last week.

I have now sent a truly snotty email informing them that I have contacted the Direct Marketing Association and will report them to the DTI. They’ll pick up this gem tomorrow.

This campaign has cost me a small fortune and the response has been pathetic beyond words. Their website states that they guarantee results and I’m going to hold them to this.

At Interface we aim to push the boundaries of conventional online and now mobile business and one of the first marketing companies in S.A. by offering our advertisers GUARANTEES. We have tailored some great cost effective packages that will bring guaranteed traffic to our advertisers websites. We are able to make these guarantees due to the relationship we have established with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN as well as Webmail ” South Africa’s leading FREE email service”.

Secondly, they state in their privacy statement that they do not sell their clients details and that they will communicate with the advertiser. This is false. All the people who responded to my mail have had their details displayed for my spamming pleasure. Email and phone number. They have lied to their clients and this has to be a breach of contract.
Junk Mail

We know that junk mail is invasive and annoying. We strive to protect you from Spam in the following ways:

  • We will never sell your address
  • We will constantly monitor and protect your inbox from unwanted mail.
  • Should advertisers wish to communicate directly, we will do so on their behalf once we are certain that your interest profile matches the deal and that it offers true value.

To protect yourself, we suggest that you give out your address with care, particularly to other websites

This company is unethical and borders on fraudulent and I refuse to leave it. I want my money back and I want some sort of investigation.

Hello? We are able to make these guarantees due to the relationship we have established with the likes of Google, Yahoo and MSN. This sentence right here is a huge red flag – total and utter rubbish.

stats

Check out the stats from the first half of the campaign (50 000 emails) – I love how their “rate” percentage is based on the clicks sent from the amount of emails that were opened, instead of quoting the “rate” as a percentage of the total amount of emails sent. If they quoted it properly you would have an open rate of 5.1% and an actual click through rate of 0.8%. Pure spammy goodness.

In these times, with small businesses really struggling, they will fall for scams like this that “guarantee” results and I’m hoping that some of you that are reading this, stay far, far away from Webmail, Interface I.T. and all their associated companies.